Glucose and insulin abnormalities relate to functional capacity in patients with congestive heart failure
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AIMS: In addition to diabetes mellitus, less severe abnormalities of glucose and insulin metabolism may be related to functional status in patients with heart failure. We examined the relationship of hyperglycaemia (> or =6.1 mmol. l(-1)) and hyperinsulinaemia (> or =11.2 mU. l(-1)) to functional status and cardiac function in patients with heart failure. METHODS AND RESULTS: Fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels were obtained in 663 heart failure patients. The average left ventricular ejection fraction was 0.28+/-0.07, 63% were in New York Heart Association Functional Class (NYHA-FC) I/II and 37% were in NYHA-FC III/IV. Twenty seven percent had diabetes mellitus, but an additional 8% had undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (glucose > or =7 mmol. l(-1)) and 9% had glucose levels between 6.1 and 7 mmol. l(-1), so that a total of 43% (287) of patients had elevated glucose levels (> or =6.1 mmol. l(-1)). In general, more diabetic patients had NYHA-FC III/IV symptoms, shorter 6 min walk distances, but similar left ventricular ejection fractions compared to non-diabetic patients. The non-diabetic patients in NYHA-FC III/IV had higher glucose and insulin levels than patients in NYHA-FC I/II (6.3+/-0.2 vs 5.6+/-0.1 mmol. l(-1), P<0.001 and 19.6+/-2.3 vs 10. 2+/-0.6 mU. l(-1), P<0.001). Non-diabetic patients with elevated glucose levels had shorter 6 min walk distances compared to those with normal glucose levels (368.2+/-8 m vs 389.+/-4 m, P=0.02), however, left ventricular ejection fraction was similar. CONCLUSION: Glucose abnormalities are extremely common in heart failure patients (43% of patients). Diabetes mellitus and hyperglycaemia or hyperlinsulinaemia in non-diabetic patients were related to worse symptomatic status but not worsening left ventricular ejection fraction compared to patients with normal glucose and insulin levels.
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